Choosing a University

Every course and every university is different and each student wants different things.

The chances of finding a perfect match can be a challenge despite over 150 universities and university-level higher education colleges in the UK and the wide range of courses available. You will almost certainly need to decide what is most important to you.

  • Do you want the best course or one that is quite good but offers the options you really want?
  • Do you want the ideal work placement or the course with the least continuous assessment?
  • It is all a matter of priorities which you feel are important for you, after all you will be the one who has to study on the course and you maybe living there for over three years or more.

So choosing the the right course at the right university for you will require some research.

  • The more research you put into the process the more likely you will make the right decision. Doing your homework will pay-off.
  • Once you have done all the reading, visiting and talking you can complete your UCAS application in the full knowledge that you have made a fully informed choice that you are happy with.
  • It is good experience for life and future job applications.

This will then free you up to focus on your studies and ensure that you hit the grades which will actually get you to your univeristy and your course of choice.

Make sure to visit universities by booking places at open days.

So how do you go about choosing a university?

For some, the choice of subject and type of course will narrow down the number of possible universities to just a few.

  • If you want to study veterinary science, there are less than ten places you can go in the UK.
  • If you want to study Burmese, there is only one (it's SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies).
  • For many, though, particularly if you are interested in one of the major subjects such as English, Chemistry, Law or Mechanical Engineering, there may be 30 or more similar courses so do your homework.

It is costly to change courses or change universities and difficult to break the news to your parents and friends.

  • Course choice is consistently the top reason why students drop out of University in the first year so it is important to get it right. However, over 93% of UK students are still in higher education the year after enroling - most students stay and succeed in the UK.

If you are considering studying overseas, at a university in another country, read our International section for ideas and advice.